Top 5 Companies MBAs Should Work for in the Airline Industry

top airline companies for MBA

While some of us prefer to simply ride in planes, others opt to build careers out of these miraculous machines. And that includes MBA students and graduates. The aviation industry is projected to grow as air travel is set to increase. The top airline companies for MBA graduates offer a variety of job opportunities to expand your career.

The climate crisis threatens to create obstacles for this industry as governments debate how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but there will still be room for air travel so long as the industry modernizes to fit into a more sustainable world—and MBAs have the potential to resolve this grand dilemma.  

Here are five airline companies that might just be a good fit for MBA students and graduates seeking to build a career out of the airline industry. The employment opportunities for those in this field include jobs in finance, informational technologies, and management. Find out what might work for you.

List of the Top Airline Companies for MBA Graduates

1. SkyWest Airlines

SkyWest works in partnership with some of the airlines you’re likely more familiar with: Delta, American, and United. The Utah-based company is pretty small: It employs more than 14,000 aviation professionals, but it’s worth nearly $3 billion, according to Macrotrends.

Most importantly, Glassdoor chose this company as the best place to work in 2020. It was the only regional airline to make the list. 

“SkyWest’s success can be directly connected to the incredibly talented group of people we have working here,” said SkyWest CEO and President Chip Childs, in a statement. “This award is a credit to each of them for the teamwork and passion they demonstrate in taking care of millions of passengers every month across the country.”

Open positions here include a crew support operations coordinator.

2. American Airlines

If name recognition is what you’re going for, American Airlines has got something to offer. This airline offers a program for MBA graduates called the “American Airlines MBA Leadership Pipeline.” 

This program is a chance for MBAs to join the company’s 110,000 other employees. How? The program offers two entry points for business grads: commercial strategy or financial strategy. Depending on whether generating revenue is your thing or you prefer conducting labor analyses, you choose your strategy. You can apply for a full-time job or get your feet wet with an internship. The perks are pretty impressive even for interns: lunch and learns with senior vice presidents, unlimited non-revenue travel, and 10 days paid uninterrupted travel after completing the internship. I guess working for an airline has got its travel bonuses.

The average salary here is $70,349, according to Payscale.

3. AirAsia

AirAsia may be known for its affordable flights, and it’s doing a lot to create commendable work opportunities for MBAs. In fact, the Malaysian-based company has roles for those with an interest in data or risk management. 

According to Glassdoor, most employees here would recommend a job to a friend and approve of the CEO. CEO Tony Fernandes has come under recent fire for alleged bribery, but it still saw growth last year due to an increase in passengers.

Current job openings include:

  • Junior Legal Counsel 
  • QA Engineer, Software Development
  • Head of Ad Operations

4. Delta Air Lines

Delta’s been called one of the best places to work at. The Atlanta-based company has a value of $38.1 billion and 89,000 employees. The salary is not shabby: The average is $82,598 a year, according to Payscale. In addition, what people seem to like most about the job, however, are the flight benefits. If you like to travel, this just might be worth it for you to jump into aviation. And Delta has been in the game for a while—since 1924. 

5. United Airlines 

Chicago-based United Airlines has been deemed one of America’s best employers by Forbes. The aviation industry definitely seems to be making its employees happy.  Employees at this company approve of the CEO and would recommend a friend to work here, according to Glassdoor

Benefits here include, per Glassdoor:

  • Medical insurance plans including vision, dental, and long-term disability  
  • Professional development seminars
  • Paid time off and sick days
  • Unlimited standby travel

The average annual salary here is $74,847.

So is the aviation industry where you want to take your career? It’s definitely got something to offer everyone.



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About the Author

Ryan Nemetz

Ryan is the Director of Client Services at MetroMBA and Clear Admit. He has over six years of experience in higher education including his current role and serving as a college basketball coach at Eastern University for four years.

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